The Best Indian Restaurants in Melbourne

Updated 1 week ago

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Indian must be the most aromatic cuisine in the world. There’s no mistaking that heady mix of cardamom, turmeric, ginger and other spices. Luckily, Melbourne serves some of the best Indian cuisine in the country. From fine establishments like Enter Via Laundry to homely neighbourhood spots like Cafe Southall, these are our favourite Indian restaurants across the city. Add them to your list for a rich curry, some street food or something fired in the tandoor.

  • Just 20 diners a night are admitted to this inimitable Indian restaurant, where owner-chef Helly Raichura cooks vibrant banquets faithful to regional Indian cuisines using top-quality local produce and native ingredients.

  • This Indian diner walks the line between classic and contemporary. Enjoy extravagant dishes from Kerala in the south to Punjab in the north-west, set amongst luxe leather booths and gold ceiling lights. Its well-loved owner also runs Masti in Fitzroy and Eastern Spice in Geelong.

  • Pass under the glowing neon sign to find this vibrant North Indian diner. Go for crispy honey-chilli cauliflower, fig and pomegranate kofta, and Punjabi butter chicken that (importantly) isn’t sweet. Plus, find Indian-leaning cocktails levelled-up with ingredients like turmeric, mango and cardamom.

  • A vibrant pan-Indian diner that’s proudly “unauthentic”. Sink into a plush booth for sweet-and-sour fried cauliflower, colourful thali and Tandoori-fired-pineapple cocktails before spilling out onto Chinatown after.

  • The tables at this bustling Indian joint fill up early – and for good reason. Go for its all-star curry menu that features creamy lamb pasanda, paneer makhani and staff-favourite eggplant curry. Plus, find house wines in glass tumblers, plus sweet mango lassi.

  • A modern Indian eatery with a dark, sultry interior. Here they inject dishes like dal and chicken tikka with foreign techniques and ingredients. There’s also lassi cocktails and gluten-free naan.

  • Southall’s owner grew up at Bombay by Night – the respected Indian restaurant his parents ran for 25 years. Here, he serves 48-hour tandoor-cooked kaali daal, and the same dessert his mum has been making for Melbourne since 1990.

  • From the owners of Tom Phat, Bhang serves Indian street food in the north.

  • Sophisticated, contemporary-Indian dishes in a spectacular space.

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  • Indian fine-dining by chef Adam D'Sylva.

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  • It has a motto: "not just curry and rice".

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  • Another one from the cousins behind Babu Ji.

  • Locals love the Sunday-night buffet.

  • All about careful adjustments to the classics.

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  • Step inside for street food, Bollywood posters and Sachin Tendulkar.

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  • Come to this West Footscray institution for rich curries, aromatic biryanis, and kebabs straight from the charcoal-fired tandoor.

  • This smart diner is dedicated to its owner’s northern Indian heritage and family. Enjoy classics like Amritsari fish, Punjabi-style butter chicken and paneer tikka alongside playful twists, like gol gappa (or panipuri) served in a shot glass.

  • This laid-back diner specialises in home-style south Indian food. Come for dosa stuffed with curried potatoes, caramelised pork fry and owner-chef Mischa Tropp’s fiery fish curry (best tempered with a boozy Darjeeling iced tea).

  • Kahaani, which means “story” in Hindi, showcases deep cuts from India’s diverse regional cuisines. Try the refined reshmi kebab, or the family-recipe goat curry that predates Partition.

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